County commences with graduations

It was a double delight for Gulf County parents last
weekend, as both Port St. Joe and Wewahitchka high schools held their annual

For the first time in more than a year, things got back to
normal, as the schools said farewell to the Class of 2021, much of whose junior
and senior years had been turned upside down by the coronavirus pandemic.

On Thursday evening, it was time for the 71 Port St. Joe
high school graduates to receive their sheepskins.

The ceremony opened with a congratulatory salute to the
eight new inductees to the Hall of Fame. Leanna Baumgardner, Savannah Burkett,
Allie Godwin, Judson Griffies, Bryson Lee, Gabrielle Nicodemus, Philip Riley,
and Camille Trochessett were selected by the entire faculty based on their
qualities of character and leadership, as well as their participation in
extra-curricular activities both at school and in the community. 

The ceremony then honored the 12 seniors who had received
scholarships directly from the institutions they will be attending in the

Zoe Gerlach will be attending Chipola on a full-ride cross
country scholarship. Zoe is also receiving a Dixie Youth Baseball Scholarship
in the amount of $2,000.

Savannah Burkett will be attending Newberry in South
Carolina on a full-ride cross country scholarship.

Israel Goldsborough will be attending Southeastern on a
football scholarship.

Caden Turrell has a full-ride baseball scholarship to
Southern Union.

Allie Godwin has received the Trojan Chancellor’s
Scholarship to Troy University in the amount of $36,000.

Camille Trochessett has received the Chancellor’s Award for
Global Competitiveness for $5,000, the Trojan Scholars Award for tuition and
housing, and the Hagen Scholarship valued at $48,000.

Bryson Lee has received the UNF Presidential Silver
Scholarship in the amount of $8,000, and is receiving the Florida Realtors
Education Foundation Scholarship in the amount of $1,700

Max Covan has received grants and scholarships to the
University of Miami for over $71,000 per year with lodging.

Austin Jones has received grants and scholarships to Florida
Tech including the Legacy Award, Panther Award, and Florida Academic
Scholarship for over $33,000 per year.

Judson Griffies has received a $40,000 scholarship to Freed
Hardeman University.

Alayna Willis has received the Presidential Academic
Scholarship to Johnson and Wales University for $62,000, and is receiving over
$20,000 with the post-9/11 GI Bill.

Coveny Sidberry has received a total of $86,000 to St.
John’s University through the Explore New York Award.

In addition, Brooklyn Sheppard has received full tuition to
any Florida University through the 2014 Black History Month essay contest that
she won while she was still at PSJ Elementary. She is also receiving the Damon
Sr. & Gillie L. McNair Scholarship in the amount of $150.

Gabriella Burtnett received $300 from the VFW Auxiliary
Patriotic Art Contest.

Philip Riley has been awarded the National Wild Turkey
Federation Academic Scholarship for seniors who have a 3.0 GPA or higher and participate
in hunting sports. He is already a state winner, receiving $1,500, and is now
eligible for the national prize of $10,000.

Scholar Designation on their diploma was given to Baumgardner,
Burkett, Covan, Carter Dorsch, Griffies, Gerlach, Zoe Hoban, Godwin, Austin
Jones, Lee, Riley, Hannah Tomlinson, Analisa Treglown, and Trochessett

Merit Designation was presented, for Gaming Essentials
Certification, to Briana Baker, Burkett, Lyndsey Butler, Jon Michael Cates,
Jacob Davis, Trayton Dockery, Blake Gay, Gerlach, Godwin, Israel Goldsborough,
Corbin Ingalls, Kevin LaCivita, Jasmine Levins, Amari Nickson, Gabrielle
Nicodemus, Corey Phelp, Brooklyn Sheppard, Macie Smith, Alex Strickland,
Michael Strickland, Tomlinson, Treglown, and Jack Vaughn

For Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Safety Certification,
the designation went to Noah Barfield, Austin Jones, Riley, and Strickland

For Microsoft Office Word Certification, designation was
given Austin Ard, Baumgardner, Noah Bell, Griffies, Hoban, Kurtis Howard,
Austin Jones, Chloe Jones, Kamaya Larry, Lanecia Larry, Mattison Mills, Dallas
Padilla, Riley, Turrell, Davis Varnes, and Caleb Wright

For Microsoft Office Specialist Certification it went to Gerlach
and Macie Smith; for Internet Business Associate to Baumgardner, Hoban, Lee, Riley,
and Caleb Wright; and for Programming and Logic Essentials Certification, to Gerlach,
Amari Nickson, and Macie Smith.

Members of the marching band were saluted for their superior
ratings, as well as those in the National Honor Society , Student Government Association,
National ART Honor Society, Key Club, NJROTC and other organizations.

As well, recognition was given to the members of the
football, girls and boys basketball teams, girls soccer and weightlifting, girls
track, and baseball teams for their many successes over their high school


Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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